4th year this year
Body Glove, Volcom, Arnette, Creatures of Leisure, Future Fins, Surf2Surf/Col
5.0″, 4.10″, 4.11″
Where do you live:
Mum & Dad, 2 older brothers (Lee, Tiarn), 1 older sister (Sh’vaughan)
When and how did I get into surfing:
2011 Xmas holidays in Whangamata with my brother Lee when he found an old surfboard in the bach shed. We got hooked & Dad then bought me my first surfboard a 5.2 foamy fish!
I’ve been to Australia to compete in surfing
Favourite place to surf:
Blowhole at Mount Maunganui, Whangamata bar, Snapper Rock
Stance on localism:
Always follow the locals rules or you might get a hiding
Your perfect surf session:
3-4ft, crumply lip, barrelling, consistent
Rugby, touch rugby, skating, art
Goals for the year:
Win my comps
Most inspirational surfer:
Kelly Slater, John John Florence, Filipe Teledo
Would you rather have 1 Million Dollars or Perfect waves the rest of your life:
Perfect waves so when you get really good you can win a title & make more money.
James Ririnui continues to impress after he won the NZ Primary School Championships title at Fitzroy Beach, New Plymouth, last weekend.
The St Mary’s School Year 6 pupil is just 11 but he won gold in the under-13 boys’ division after a clean sweep in winning two heats, the quarterfinal, semifinal and final.
Young James battled tough weather conditions and 3- to 4-foot swells to produce a remarkably consistent performance.
“It was pretty big. I don’t really mind big surf, I quite like it,” said James. “It is probably my best win. I was pretty stoked, excited and happy.”
Surfing and rugby are James’ two main sporting passions.
He began surfing aged 8 and already has an impressive list of achievements to his name.
This winter he captained his Te Puna under-11 team to the Western Bay 15-a-side and 7-a-side titles, as well as leading the Ellis Shield under-11 boys’ rep team to the Bay of Plenty title.
James was a key player in the St Mary’s over-40kg 7-a-side team that took out the Western Bay title. His older brother Lee, 14, is also a top-class surfer, ranked second in New Zealand at under-14 level.
Their father Barry Ririnui, who represented the Bay of Plenty Steamers and NZ Secondary Schools as a top-quality midfield back, says the sibling rivalry spurs both boys on.
“Lee gives James inspiration, companionship and good, old-fashioned sibling rivalry out in the water,” he said.
“Being involved with a great family-based group of surfing friends has added to James’ enjoyment and passion for the sport of surfing.”